Just Another Day

The fireworks light the sky, thundering through the night air, and your heart beats along with them.

Boom, boom. Ten minutes till midnight.

All over people are looking at the clock, scribbling down last minute resolutions they'll never keep. One girl is in the corner, her long dark hair hiding her face. If you walked closer, she might tell you what's on her mind. How this is her first New Year's party and she doesn't really know anyone, she just came with a friend who quickly melted into the crowds. Her thoughts are about how she'll get home, and how this year could be her chance. Maybe this year she'll meet all the expectations.

Boom. Another firework, exploding gold across the sky.

The guy by the window watches, appreciating the light, his thumbs casually looped into the tops of his pockets. Every shake of the ground makes him feel that much more alive. He's thinking that maybe if he stands by the window long enough, he can reach up and tough the fiery colors raining down. Of course, he knows that's not possible. But just as you have dreams and hopes, so does he.

BOOM. This one is louder. Five minutes left.

People search through the crowd, grabbing that one person that will share their New Year's kiss. You watch as one couple turns to each other, smiling. You don't know, but they're remembering the first time they met, at a party just like this. Last year. He pushes her short brown hair behind her ear, even though it really is too short to stay. She grins and wraps her arms around his neck, folding the corner of his collar down, so comfortable near him.

Boom, boom, boom. The kissers are a mass of emotion, nervous, excited, blissful. One minute.

Those who don't kiss- the drinkers, the cheerers- raise their glasses, smiling. Your breathing is surprisingly normal, but your mind is racing. All these people and everything you've done in this past year. Trying to cram last year and the coming one into a few seconds. Half thought out promises form and meld with regrets and memories. The nostalgia hits, and sends a part of your mind to a darker place, just for a fraction of a moment. You aren't part of the crowd. You are simply an observer. Watching as others gather and join and think and breathe.

Boom. Ten seconds left and the countdown begins.

"TEN" They shout. You look to see so many faces turned toward the clock.

"NINE" The word seems to echo through the room, everyone holding it as if it were a note to be sung.

"EIGHT" The suspense builds, as if leading up to something life changing. Miraculous.

"SEVEN" Seven seconds of this year left. No time to go back, to start over.

"SIX" The excitement is buzzing through the room like an electric charge.

"FIVE" You hear your voice join in, quietly, just spoken, but still, you've let the number form on your tongue.

"FOUR" Now your voice is in harmony with the others. Fireworks mark the drum beats.

"THREE" It's like a song now, everyone singing their part of this short melody.

"TWO" The anticipation seems to overwhelm the crowd as you all press for the next second to come quickly.

"ONE!" Time seems to freeze. It's as if silence has fallen everywhere, just for that last scrap of timeā€¦

Someone screams "HAPPY NEW YEAR!" and suddenly everyone is kissing and drinking and laughing and making noise. It's almost impossible to distinguish any single noise. The joy is everywhere. Everything leading up to this one moment. Everything, just so you can say you made it one more year. A toast to life. A toast to another day. Because after all, it's just another day.